LEO VARADKAR has ruled out the chance of a second general election as he reveals that Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are still holding out hope that the Green Party might join them in coalition.
While on a tour of McKee Barracks in Dublin 7 this week, the Taoiseach said: "I don't envisage there being a second election. I don't even know how you would conduct an election in the current context."
Varadkar admitted that FG and FF were close to agreeing the basics of what would be the next government, as coalition talks continue amid the growing coronavirus crisis.
"I can't speak for Fianna Fail - certainly we're ready to agree a framework document on policy, but of course, it takes two parties to agree," he added.
The Taoiseach was then asked if there was anything in the framework that might be able to "entice" the Green Party into a coalition.
"Well you know I can't speak for other parties, but there is going to be a third pillar in this government," he replied.
"There's a lot of 'ifs' there, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have yet to agree a document, but if we can agree a document, I think for government to have a functioning majority, to be able to lead the country for the next four to five years."
Following February's general election, no one party managed to secure an 80-seat majority, so the country was put on tenterhooks as parties began coalition discussions.
The Covid-19 crisis through the situation into disarray however, and pressure has been mounting ever since for a Government to be formed in order to best tackled the problem.
Together, FF and FG don't have enough seats for a majority, so will need a third party - or a handful of Independents - to make up the numbers.
Varadkar did say that both FG and FF were willing to include "strong climate action" in any programme for Government in an effort to coax the Greens to the table.
"We need a third party, a third pillar as part of that government, and you know I'm absolutely sure that the Green Party wouldn't participate in such a government unless there was a very strong climate action and biodiversity agenda as part of that."